What the heck is Kneebiru?

The first rule of Kneebiru, is you don't talk about Kneebiru!

Ok no, only kidding. There's no secret society with special rules. Kneebiru is a nascent highly ambitious software project that i just don't want to say too much about publicly whilst there isn't anything to actually show. But I wanted to have a website for it already at least, as (1) I do want a record in case some other bugger comes along later making some sort of claims to it- I created the name over a year ago now, and dreamed up the project in general earlier still, around August 2012; and (2) I figure having a site sitting there with nothing meaningful to say to people should spur me on to actually get some of that work DONE on it, so that there IS something to show! It helps me commit myself to it more.

Also, starting a website already gives me more time to consider the design of that at least. Have mercy, I'm a programmer, not an artist or a graphic designer.

Once I do have something released, I can stop being so enigmatic about it- it'll be the project itself that can be enigmatic! :) Expect it to be pretty different, although you might not appreciate just how different at first.

What does it mean? Does this page or project relate to the planet/ meteor/ death star/ intergalactic space-turd/ conspiracy theorist fantasy "Nibiru"?

Only indirectly. my project was churning about in my head for about 4 months with a lot of ideas but no name, making it awkward to refer to! Then on the morning of December 21st 2012, as people were discussing whether this imaginary crypto-planet would somehow destroy the Earth later that day, it occurred to me that "Nibiru" would be a nice ironic name for a project that would be starting in 2013 at the earliest!

As for why the peculiar b0rken spelling, a few hours later I did something horrible and alarming to my knee whilst wandering around talking on the phone, which soon prompted me to tweak the name a bit for distinctiveness... Several months later, my knee was mostly better, but the name had kinda stuck - I had more important things to do than try and come up with anything better.

Some might consider that a bit self-absorbed, or just plain stupid, but the fact is that the name is only actually intended as a working title until something better can be dreamt up, and meantime it serves the purpose of a name, being fairly easy to use and capable of distinctly identifying its subject (at least in writing! When spoken you have to rely on the first syllable being a longer -ee sound as in knee, rather than the short -i of Nibiru). It's not complete incomprehensible gibberish. And it beats the hell out of having no name.

When will there be something to see here? How much will it cost?

I hope to have something to release around... March 2014 maybe? It's December 2013 as I write this and I'm appalled and dismayed that I've had this idea for about 16 months without any code, so I want to get some work on it soon. The initial release will be a prototype of sorts, whether an evolutionary prototype (IE it gets tweaked into the final version) or a throwaway prototype (one that is written purely for tryign things out before starting again from scratch) depends how well it turns out! In either case I expect it to be extremely incomplete, and maybe not remotely resembling the "proper" version, but hopefully enough to play with, make clearer sense of the basic concepts, and maybe pique other people's interest too...

I have no plans to charge money for it, I think that would be a disaster, and that Kneebiru itself would have to remain free in every sense. Hypothetically I might find some other way to make money from it, which would make working on it a lot easier (as it's probably going to be very time consuming), but I don't know how, and Kneebiru wasn't dreamt up with profit in mind. I decided to create it because it, or something much like it, needs to exist. And having a load of users would massively help it progress and become useful, the more the better, so yeah unless some bolt from the blue occurrs to me that I couldn't say no to and haven't foreseen, it'll be free forever.

WHY no work on it yet? Are you incompetent? Don't you care?

Sadly, Kneebiru is so different to other projects, almost everything has to be figured out from scratch, without much existing work to refer to. Well, individual parts are similar to parts in other projects, but not all together and not many projects. Add to this, it's not something I've got much background in (it's something very few people have background in!!) so am having to learn implementation details on the hoof and am less able to judge the sense of various higher-level design decisions, and the fact that "highly ambitious" barely covers it ("stark raving mad" might be more accurate), and you can see a task that is, shall we say, a smidge daunting.

Apart from that, I've been kinda busy, real life stuff rears its head periodically, especially the past few months.

I have however written up a lot of design and ideas and thoughts about it; yes a good number of these are fairly concrete, sadly a few are more vague and will need an actual prototype in place for me to solidify properly, or some other people to join in and think about and contribute.

Will this be just your project or can other people join in?

Well the broad idea is mine, and the "dream" of how it'll seem if you like, and the remit of what the project is for and what general requirements it must fullfil, so in that sense it will always be "my baby", but on the other hand there are certainly details I've not been able to fill in yet, such that I could do with other people to look at what I've got and what the ideas are and the shape of things, and more clearly interpret the dream with some extra details, or come up with new ideas I haven't (IF THEY FIT). There'd also be need for some grunt-work with programming, which I'd be the only one doing at first. That's gonna be quite time-consuming.

Besides all that, the project does also depend on other people contributing with stuff that works with it, of which there would probably be a huge amount needed to realise its full potential. One aspect of the project is that the easy accessibility for doing that is part of the remit. If it's not as easy to do as it should be, that's a fault that must be corrected.

In the end, I'd hope that the project would have enough cohesion, completeness and momentum that control could be passed to some sort of user/developer community that could make decisions in keeping with the remit, without me having to be actually in charge. That might sound a bit like "hey, everybody else ends up doing the hard work to make your dream happen", but I'd still have to do most of the work to keep it going before it gets near that point. More importantly, if I'm right and the idea is any good and well executed, everybody should be reaping the benefits, and after getting burnt by other people's projects over the years one way or another, I've concluded that everybody's better off if everybody knows what the remit and purpose and intent of a project REALLY is before they decide to invest much in using or developing for it, rather than supposing it's one thing and then people in charge decide it's something else later because it's never been stated. There's projects whose remits I may somewhat disagree with, or the way they implement policies, but I emphatically agree with the idea of having one in the first place.

A lot of this sounds kinda flakey and wishy-washy!

Well if I make references to "dreams", I mean that fairly figuratively. As mentioned, the project is different enough to most similar ones that there's not much to latch on to, to try and draw comparisons, so I have to make do with a vision in my head of what I think it'll be like, and a lot of features that I think would be appropriate, but which might not all fit together, or be usable, or maybe even possible, because that vision is just so amorphous. So more concrete statements on some of the details will simply have to be kicked down the road till there's ideally both a pretty decent prototype, and some other people to join in and help research and have some ideas at it to fill in some of those details.

If a new name comes along, what happens to "Kneebiru", and this site?

I'm guessing that Kneebiru will remain as the name of the early prototype version; this site may remain as a sort of internal development site or something for the project (or maybe just my own site pertaining to the project, or even just a repository for that old prototype when that's outdated?), whilst a new site with the new name would take over for the public-facing side of things probably.

Maybe this domain name would just end up redirecting to the new site, or part of it. In any case, I'd rather not just let the name lapse- .uk domains are very very cheap, and I really hate link rot and wouldn't want to contribute to it too, so might as well keep it for something.

What's that logo supposed to be?

Meant to be a sort of line-art meteor or such; my girlfriend described it as a "happy dancing pokemon thing blob", a great testament to my artistic skills!

Like the project name, and this page, it was meant to be a temporary placeholder type thing until I could find time and effort to produce something better.

Ok so I guess there's nothing else to see here. Now what?

There's always my main website, Neologue UK if you like, although that doesn't have a whole lot to see either! It's even more of a mess, too.